Newsletter #101 - April 29, 2006
'Free' Online Video
There seems to be a big wave of interest in 'free' video hosts...
sounding almost too good to be true. Are they?
It's been almost a year since I first signed up for Google video,
but it was before they were actually accepting submittals, and I hadn't
gotten around to trying it until this week.
There are now many services to pick from... I joined 5 of
them for this newsletter, and submitted the same movie and story to
- Google Video - converts files to Flash at
YouTube - converts files to Flash
at the server, using a proprietary format with no file extension on the
Putfile - downloads the same file as the
VideoEgg - converts files to Flash prior
to upload ".... as of May 31, 2008, we are discontinuing our consumer video service at my.videoegg.com. No, we are NOT going out of business! We are simply refocusing our business away from our consumer video service and concentrating on our advertising network and technologies...."
AddictingClips.com - streaming
Here are links to my two samples. The files are
on my website at 1&1... use them as the baseline to compare the free
1 minute parade clip from
newsletter #96, a Movie Maker 2
- 5.6 MB - standard aspect ratio, 640x480
Besides giving links to the online videos, to use in emails or
newsgroup/forum posts, each of the services gives Java and/or HTML code to
embed in website pages... so I made a sample page for each of the
services to show you how the pages look when presented that way. I
used the code for the sample movie, not the story.... it should
look the same.
This issue doesn't go into details about subscribing or
uploading files... it's limited to showing you the samples, and providing
some info about the fine print you'll need to agree to....
... before getting into it
further, here's a couple
Vista Corner... I downloaded (3.1 GB) and
installed build #5365 on Tuesday... the High Definition VC-1 saving
profile choice that newsletter #94 was about has been replaced by a High
Definition one for XBox 360. The picture of the choices on the Setup Movie
Maker > Vista Preview > Publish Movie page is up to date...
We've applied for new passports to start our vacation
planning. I've turned my blog site over to the subject
of Europe 301, our 3rd trip to Europe. Our last one
was many years ago, before my first camcorder. We'll be re-doing
Switzerland and Italy, and adding Spain and Portugal.... the itinerary is on the
blog but changes daily as we think about it.
.... back to the main
Let's take them one at a time. First
the individual links to the samples, and then the sample website page. Check
them all and see what you think.
Give Google at least a few hours to
process your uploaded file, before looking for the link to share
it with others. WMV files don't align with what it prefers, but my
The terms and
conditions include your right to charge for viewing and split the proceeds
with Google, and Google's non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free license to use Your
name and logo in connection with Your Authorized
You Must Have the Right to Use All
of the Images, Music and Data of Any Sort in Your Authorized Content, and You
Must Have the Right to Grant the Licenses.... and You are at least
18 years of age
You can upload as many
videos as you like, without any size or length limitations. They prefer
that you encode your video files using mpeg-2 or mpeg-4 codecs with mp3 audio...
but accepted my two sample wmv files.
While they support other
digital formats such as QuickTime, Windows Media, and RealVideo, submitting your
files in these formats may significantly delay their being added to Google
Video. In some cases, they may not be able to add your video at all.
The preferred video specs
NTSC (4:3) size and framerate,
Video Codec: MPEG2 or MPEG4 (MPEG4 preferred)
Bitrate: at least 260Kbps (750kbps preferred)
Audio Codec: MP3 vbr
Audio Bitrate: at least 70Kbps (128 Kbps preferred)
Downloaded files were smaller than
those from Google, and lower quality. They are Flash files, I think, but don't
play in my local flash file player when I rename them with typical extensions...
so I'm calling them Flash files with a proprietary format.
MM2 Sample -
2.2 MB Flash file (? - no file extension) - lower quality
Sample - 1.9 MB Flash file (? - no file extension) -
are limited to 100 MB in file size and 10 minutes in duration... there's no
limit in the number of movies you can put online, and they'll stay online until
you remove them
article about YouTube and other free-hosting
services, and the advertising behind it.
Putfile was the only one of the five services that didn't support
embedding a video in your own web page.
The temporary files that are downloaded are the same as the originals...
not Flash.... WMV for my samples.
- 2.1 MB WMV (same as original)... viewer has an
800x600 option, so uploaded Photo Stories of that size should work
Direct linking/embedding of videos and flash is
forbidden. You must link to the media files with the link that is
provided to you, such as http://www.putfile.com/media.php?n=My-Movie. Putfile
reserves the right to protect it's business and thus users who attempt to bypass
the media.php page will have all their videos, flash, and images removed.
A link back to http://www.putfile.com must be placed on
any site that where users embed images. Link code is provided at the bottom of
users file upload history.
... users give permission for the owners of Putfile to
publish any such files through any associated media channel or party. Users
upload files to Putfile on condition that they release all rights to the image,
and give full permission to Putfile and its associates to use and publish the
image in any way they wish. No compensation will be payable for the uploaded
file being used in any such way.
This service aligns Google and YouTube in converting the WMV files to
Flash, but the quality was lower to start with. A note from VideoEgg said I'd
get higher quality if I upgraded to Flash v8, and it seemed to work that way.
The files got larger in size but I didn't notice a setup in quality. The
VideoEgg viewer was the smallest in the lot, and I didn't see a way to make it
- 2.0 MB Flash file - lower quality - a note said that
upgrading to Flash v8 would provide a higher quality one... OK, did
it... >> the file size went up to 4.7 MB
- 1.7 MB Flash file - lower quality >> 4.8
MB after upgrading to Flash v8
While there's no technical limit to the length of video the Publisher
can post, long videos are expensive to store and stream. To keep things
manageable during this free feature preview, the maximum video length
has been set to 5 minutes. If your video is too long, try trimming it
down with the Publisher's start and end sliders, or erase part of the video with
the eraser tool.
.... At some point in the future we may introduce advertising to
support the video content you upload during this preview. Before that happens,
we promise that you will have the opportunity to support your content
ad-free through a subscription service at VideoEgg.
Can I backup a copy of the video that's created by VideoEgg? In
future releases of VideoEgg you'll be able to download your videos and save them
locally on your computer.
How long are the videos stored? We currently store all videos
Do I have to have ads? For many VideoEgg partners a free, ad-supported
service makes a lot of sense. But we know that ads don't work for everyone.
Fortunately, The VideoEgg Solution is available on a straight-forward
pay-for-use basis without advertising.
I'm calling this service a 'streaming' one because I
haven't been able to find the temporary files.
There are cash rewards if your video takes off and
becomes highly popular.
The Site is intended for adults; children
under 13 years of age may not create user accounts. No portion of this Site is targeted to children, and any minor
should seek consent of his or her legal guardian before using this
Limited to personal and non-commercial
You agree not to
post or otherwise make available User Materials that include personal or
identifying information about another person without that person's explicit
You are 18 years old or an emancipated minor who possess the legal
right and ability to enter into and make the representations and warranties
contained in these Terms;
You are the owner of the User Materials you submit to the Site and the
User Materials are original to you;
You have the written consent, release, and/or permission of each and
every identifiable individual person in the User Materials.
Conclusions and Closing
The five services all worked well.
If a conversion was needed, the service took care of it...
just upload the saved movie or story and it'll be out there for you and the
world to view.
As I was writing this, my local
Kalamazoo Gazzette newspaper published an article about video sharing
sites... it highlited Google Video and YouTube,
and mentioned some others: ClipShack, Grouper, Metacafe, Revver,
Sharkle, Streamload, Stickam, TagWorld, Vimeo, and vMix... and there are
These services make video
distribution painless, easy, free.... what else could be wanted? I think they
collectively will be one of the bigger waves in the
rising tide of those using digital video.
... and I expect the wave of interest
to result in considerable pressure for many to learn and use Movie
Maker and Photo Story. I added a new page to the website...
Distributing Movies > Free Host
Services... look to it for more info as time goes by.
Have a great week...